On 18 March 2015, the Legislative Assembly passed a motion calling on the ACT Government to work with the DVPC to convene an extraordinary meeting. The DVPC Extraordinary Meeting, which was held on Thursday 2 April 2015, assisted the DVPC to identify the key issues in the ACT relating to addressing domestic and family violence, including sexual assault.
The Meeting gave attendees the opportunity to have an open and honest conversation about how the ACT Government and other stakeholders could strengthen and improve responses to this issue. The meeting was attended by a broad range of stakeholders, including community experts, frontline workers, first responders, and importantly, people with lived experience of domestic violence.
Following the Meeting, the DVPC provided the Attorney-General with a report outlining a number of recommendations for addressing domestic and family violence, including sexual assault, in the ACT.
Of particular note, the DVPC has recommended to the Attorney-General that focus should be put on:
- establishing an integrated whole-of-government service delivery system to ensure that all ACT Government Directorates work together to deliver connected and well-targeted services and responses;
- challenging and changing cultures and attitudes towards domestic and family violence, including sexual assault, through primary prevention methods such as education in schools and community and workplace discussions; and
- ensuring that existing services are maintained and available to meet demand, including services for perpetrator intervention and specialist domestic, family and sexual violence services.